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Mar 25 2012

Why I am an atheist – Clare

I was raised as a Christian by my mother, whereas my father was an atheist. I never really understood what that meant because no-one ever taught me that there are people in this world that don’t believe in God. I loved science from a young age, and it all made sense to me, except that it just wasn’t compatible with what people told me to believe. I began to doubt christianity around age 8, and began to research how the world works – needless to say, I started noticing the immense amount of bullshit I’d been force-fed. When I got to high school (here, that’s age 11) I completely left christianity and began to look at my other options – I still didn’t know that it was ok to be an Atheist. I experimented with Wicca and Paganism for about 2 years, but I still had the same problem – no scientific evidence to back them up. But with a little research, and making some great friends who are Atheists, I figured out that Atheism was the path for me. Now, I’ve been an out-and-proud Atheist for 3 years and I’ll never look back. People say that religion gives you answers because you can ‘fill in the blanks’ but that’s not good enough for me. When I get an answer to one of life’s great mysteries, I want it to be the correct, scientifically proven one. I want to be as sure as possible in my beliefs – and what’s more sure than scientific fact?

Clare
Australia

93 comments

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  1. 1
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    I’ve been an atheist for quite a while, but I don’t really understand why I would be *proud* to be an atheist. What’s there to be proud of, for not believing in some made-up nonsense?

  2. 2
    desoto

    They can take pride in the fact that they have the intelligence not to believe.

  3. 3
    desoto

    That should be “We can take pride . . .”

  4. 4
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    Thanks, but would *happy* not be a better word? I am certainly a happy atheist, and happy to be an atheist, but proud?

  5. 5
    desoto

    What is wrong with being proud? It is an accomplishment to escape. Why not be proud of that? You can be proud of yourself without having to tell others.

  6. 6
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    That’s probably a valid reply to what I said. I don’t know. Somehow, ‘proud’ feels wrong to me, smug, self-important, superficial. Like ‘I am “proud” to be French’ or ‘I am “proud” to be gay’ or ‘I am “proud” to be a caucasian” or whatever.

    Am I overly sensitive and feeling feelings that are simply not there?

  7. 7
    desoto

    No, you are not being over-sensitive. I believe “proud” has taken on a negative connotation and that is what you are picking up on. By definition, pride doesn’t have to be overt. It’s just one of those words that have been abused and is now suspect when used.

  8. 8
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    Thanks! That certainly makes a lot of sense.

    That’s probably why I am always using “happy” instead of “proud”. I am happy to be an atheist, I am happy to be whatever else I am, but I am most definitely not “standing tall and proud” because of anything.

    To me, “happy to be an atheist” is the same as “happy to be eating raspberries” or “happy to be drinking a good beer”. It has no connotations of (smug) superiority, whereas “proud” does have them.

    Thanks!

  9. 9
    llyris

    I’m proud of you too, Clare. Like Desoto said “It is an accomplishment to escape”. It is certainly an accomplishment to think for yourself, to be able to assess the evidence and come up with a conclusion that isn’t the one you’ve been told is correct. It’s normal and healthy to be proud of your achievements.
    Keep striving for the answers to be he right ones, that’s how we learn new things, how we advance technology, medicine, everything.

  10. 10
    dano

    I have never understood why Atheists hate a group of people getting together to talk about love thy neighbor, treat others with respect, believe in a higher being, etc. Is it that you hate others who do don’t follow you? I have read many blogs & posts on both sides of the argument & I have never seen as much hate, anger, foul language (if you consider it bad that is), and disgust for the other side as with or in Atheist blogs. Please feel free to explain in a cordial way or if you must use my points above to prove my point. A little background on me: I do not hate Atheists, I am not homophobic, although I would like to keep intact the word marriage only applies to a man and woman and give others the word civil union(sorry I can’t seem to give in on that one), and consider that everyone should be equal no matter what their race, sex, sexuality or beliefs are as long as they do not prevent others from living their life as they see fit. Looking forward to some posts (hopefully not angry ones as that will just prove my stated point above). Cheers!

  11. 11
    Rich Woods

    @dano #10:

    Maybe some atheists do hate people getting together to talk about loving thy neighbour, but all I can say is I haven’t met one. I think they’re more likely to hate people getting together to be told to what to do or face burning forever, when what they’re being told doesn’t always show much in the way of love.

    Anyway, why should you believe in a higher being when there’s no evidence for one? It’s just wishful thinking.

    although I would like to keep intact the word marriage only applies to a man and woman and give others the word civil union(sorry I can’t seem to give in on that one), and consider that everyone should be equal no matter what their race, sex, sexuality or beliefs are as long as they do not prevent others from living their life as they see fit.

    Do you see the contradiction here?

  12. 12
    'Tis Himself

    dano #10

    I have never understood why Atheists hate a group of people getting together to talk about love thy neighbor, treat others with respect, believe in a higher being, etc.

    Nope, those aren’t the people we hate. The ones we hate are the clergy who rape children and the higher-ups who support and protect the child rapists, the ones who try to have a 2,500 year old creation myth taught to children in place of science, the ones who use religion to justify their right wing politics, and the ones who say things like:

    I would like to keep intact the word marriage only applies to a man and woman and give others the word civil union(sorry I can’t seem to give in on that one)

  13. 13
    cag

    Clare, thanks for your uplifting post. At 70 years old, I will not see the demise of religion, but I see hope in the future due to rational young people like you, Jessica, Damon and all the others. Keep exposing the biblical lies, there will be good results.

  14. 14
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    I have never understood why Atheists hate a group of people getting together to talk about love thy neighbor, treat others with respect, believe in a higher being, etc. Is it that you hate others who do don’t follow you? They do not. However, they do not like a group of people that comes together to preach hatred against people who do not like that animals are made to suffer needlessly during slaughter, they do not like a group of people that preaches beating up children, that preaches scaring them silly with stories of burning forever, that preaches hatred against science and truth in general, that tries to… get the drift?

    I am not homophobic, although I would like to keep intact the word marriage only applies to a man and woman and give others the word civil union(sorry I can’t seem to give in on that one), and consider that everyone should be equal no matter what their race, sex, sexuality or beliefs are as long as they do not prevent others from living their life as they see fit.

    So, you are not homophobic, but you are. You do not want to prevent others from living their life as they see fit, but you do.

    And then you wonder why atheists don’t like you?

  15. 15
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    It’s not the people that are the butt of atheist hatred, it’s the behaviour and the attitudes. Many of us were brought up in the hateful Christian doctrine, as well as the other religions, and understand why people behave so badly when they are religious. We don’t hate you, we do hate and despise the negative world view and destruction that your religion promotes. Want examples? Go read your bible. You’ll find plenty of hate in there, apparently the word of your god & Jesus, hating anyone who doesn’t toe the line. Want more examples? Go listen to the US republican nominees talking about their views. Go google Dennis Terry. Theres a link from this blog from a few days ago to his introduction to Rick Santorum. Go look at the results of the Texas abortion laws. If you want to know what it is to be hated, try announcing to a group of Christians that you don’t believe in their invisible sky daddy. Or tell a group of Muslims that you don’t believe that their Allah is great, or even exists.

    You might also look in yourself and ask why it is that you want to deny homosexual people the same rights to state sanctioned union that you expect for yourself. You might ask yourself why you want to deny another person human rights.

  16. 16
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    For clarification, my comment at 15 was directed at Dano, @ #10

  17. 17
    fireweaver

    dano @ 10:

    AFAIC, any two adults who want to get married should be allowed to do so, no exceptions, with all rights and privileges appertaining thereto, also without exception. This gets done at the courthouse, when done it becomes legal and binding on all and sundry.

    If some tight-assed religious outfit wants to create some kind of ceremony that applies to heterosexual couples only, fine, let them do that. (They might also want to patent/copyright/trademark the thing while they are at it.) But before they do their magic churchy circle jerk, all the legal stuff at the courthouse has to be done first.

  18. 18
    clarem

    Hi guys,
    I’d just like to thank all the people who posted such nice comments here. I honestly didn’t think it’d get posted.

    and @cag, thanks to you especially, you just inspired me a little bit more.

  19. 19
    philhoenig

    dano @ 10:

    I have never understood why Atheists hate a group of people getting together to talk about love thy neighbor, treat others with respect…

    As Gandhi once said in response to a different question, “I think that would be a very good idea”.

  20. 20
    steve oberski

    Dano, it’s the homophobia, misogyny, child abuse, sectarianism, lack of doubt, absolute certainty not backed up by evidence, endless intrusion of bronze age beliefs into secular society, non-stop whining and demands for special privileges that we hate.

    Thank you for exhibiting a good number of them, that was special.

  21. 21
    desoto

    I’m sure passive aggressive dano was a drive by but just in case . . . Having attended RCC for twenty years, I never got the “love thy neighbor” message. I got “love the church and god”, in that order. You are delusional or have never been part of an organized religion if you believe that is what mass is all about. If religion wanted to be all “love thy neighbor, treat others with respect” it would meet every week to work on projects to help folks in need. You shouldn’t need to worship god every week to prove your worthiness; just do good works in his name and (if he existed) he would see what good people you really are and reward you. That is the real wager – do good and if god exists, you get a cookie, if not, at least you’ve done good.

  22. 22
    dano

    I am not a drive by poster, I was busy all afternoon with my kids activies so just getting caught up in my reading of posts. Thank you for all of your posts. Many may recognine my name from other blogs on here.
    I do understand the dislike towards pastors, priests and similar that have sexually assualted children. I am certainly against this. On the other hand I see no reason to hate something because you don’t believe in it. I do not believe in a lack of religion aka Atheists but I do not hate any Atheists. I may dislike some for the way they post on blogs or talk down to Christians but I do not hate anyone. Correct me if I am wrong but the Atheist belief or lack there of is that once you pass on that is it. The world has been here for 100′s of millions of years and you get but your 70-90yrs and then poof you’re gone?
    Being a Christian and also raised as one I am very happy going to church on Sunday or in my case Saturday afternoon (lots of service times to choose from over 2 days) and learning about something that will benefit for ever. In this weekends case it was how to love thy enemies. If you doubt me please watch yesterday’s & today’s sermon and tell me what is so bad about believing in a higher power when he is teaching us ways we can better our lives. If you are afraid to watch I understand. Doubters find it hard that a church could actually be providing some good information instead of the old sermons to burn & kill all non-christians, homosexuals and devil worshipers. I do understand that in the past Crucades have killed many (hunderds, thousands, millions I am sure you would say) but so did Hitler. If I was German (which I am not although my wife is) would I therefore hate myself or my wife if I was an Atheist?
    Is it better to be a Christian just in case there is life after death (and you would be saved) or is better to be Chistian and when you die you find out there is nothing else you are no worse off than an Atheist.
    Sermon: http://www.eaglebrookchurch.com/pages/page.asp?page_id=170233

    Please let me know if you watched the video & what harm this has caused the you.
    Cheers…Christian code for God Bless.

  23. 23
    Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD

    Dano, you are the one who made the unsubstantiated assertion that atheists hate Christians. Or rather people who get together to help other people which is not necessarily the same thing.

    We don’t hate the people, we pity some, and mock a lot of the deluded ideas. So your sermon was a nice one, bully for you. No, I am not going to watch it, not because I am scared (and if you try to imply that then I can only ask if you are in fact 12) but because I have far better things to do with my time.

    As for the civil union/marriage thing, is it only your god that makes you of the opinion that some people should not get the same rights as others. And equal but different is not valid. Because a civil union is not the same. And does not confer equal rights everywhere.

  24. 24
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    In case you forgot: Hitler was a Christian, and he organised his slaughter in the name of Christianity, in full support of other fine Christians such as the pope, Mussolini and Franco.

    Christians not only hate atheists, their own holy books *require* them to hate atheists and to kill them as well. Just because most of you have been domesticated to a certain extent and have become more reluctant than in the past to kill non-believers and believers in competing fallacies does not turn Christianity into a particularly loving religion.

  25. 25
    dano

    Bart, so you are saying just because my wife is German I should hate her because she is German & Germans aka Hitler killed people. I think I just shot a hole in your thought process. I also noticed no one so far has watched the video to point out all of the hate we are supposed to use on Monday at work to bully the weak, GLBT and non-believers. Cheers!

  26. 26
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    @dano,

    Firstly, I suggest you go back & read my previous comment again. I don’t think you understood.

    Secondly:

    The world has been here for 100′s of millions of years and you get but your 70-90yrs and then poof you’re gone?

    Yep, pretty much! You didn’t exist before your birth, & there were billions of years of time passing. What’s so hard about accepting that it is highly unlikely that there is anything after death?

    Believing in life after death just makes you more inclined to treat your life and the life of others as less valuable.

    Thirdly:

    Crucades have killed many (hunderds, thousands, millions I am sure you would say) but so did Hitler. If I was German (which I am not although my wife is) would I therefore hate myself or my wife if I was an Atheist?

    You probably need to reword this, as it is not clear what you are trying to say, however: 1) Atheists don’t all hate all religious people. It is the ideas and behaviours that are unpallateable. Secondly, your argument is a non sequiter. Hilter is not all German people. Hitler represented an idea (nazism) which is abhorrant (and which drew much inspiration from Christianity). You should not hate german people because of what the Nazis did. That is Racism (another thing that Christianity excels at). You would be justified to hate/despise Nazism though, what ever the nationality of the perpertrators (ie, Rick Santorum, et al.)

    Is it better to be a Christian just in case there is life after death (and you would be saved) or is better to be Chistian and when you die you find out there is nothing else you are no worse off than an Atheist.

    Ahhhh, the old Pascal’s Wager! Don’t you think, that if your deity was actually there, Xe would see through your little subterfuge?

    Furthermore, if there is a deity out there waiting to send you to eternal damnation, you are unlikely to find the exact right formula to avoid that damnation, and even if you did & were saved, what a horrible existance! To spend eternity bowing & scraping to some malevolent entity! I’d rather not exist after my death than face that.

    And what have you lost? You’ve lost truth, and appreciation of your life. You have wasted your life going to church to talk to yourself (in your head). You have contributed to an oppressive structure that robs others of their quality of life.

    Atheists don’t hate christians, particularly. We are angry at you though.

    Frankly, I don’t mind if you want to congregate with your christian friends and share some time talking about your imaginary friend, but few Christians stop there. Most will vote for conservative politicians, who want to force their particular Christian agenda on the rest of the world.Most Christians will be involved in homophobia, slut shaming, child abuse, and numerous other evils.

    You want Atheists to stop being angry & leave you alone to go sing kumbaya? Then stop interferring with other peoples lives. Stop voting for the right winig nutters who want to strip all of our freedoms away.

  27. 27
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    Typical Christian reasoning, don’t you think? The fact that Hitler was a German is coincidental. It is not his German nationality that made him a monster, but his Christian ideals. And I never said anything else.

    Don’t put up straw men. If you want to discuss, fine, discuss, just don’t claim that your opponents are saying stuff they are not. I realise that Christians have a hard time being honest, but you could at least show some good will and try.

  28. 28
    dano

    Catnip you said, “who want to force their particular Christian agenda on the rest of the world.” yet isn’t that what left winger nutter, I assume if you can say right wing nutters so can I about the left, Obama is doing with Obamacare? Hmmm kind of hurts now doesn’t it when the shoe is on the other foot. Cheers!

  29. 29
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    If you do not want to use Obamacare, you are free not to want it. Nobody is forcing you to accept help you do not want. However, Christians are doing their very best to DENY people the help they need, that’s something different, is it not?

    You Christians are not happy to enjoy your self-imposed suffering. No, you will not rest before everyone else suffers it too.

    If you want to be a masochist, nobody is stopping you. If you are, on the other, expanding your masochism to people who don’t want it, you become a sadist, and we don’t want it. Hurt yourself if you must, leave us out of it.

  30. 30
    Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD

    Advocating for freely available health care isn’t particularly Christian any more. It is humane though.

    Are you a libertarian? Do you advocate all roads being toll roads? Or there only being private armies? If not then why on earth would you object to the pooling of resources for the better health of all citizens of your country. Full disclosure – all my life I have lived somewhere with free or cheap health care. I wouldn’t swap any of the systems for the mess that the health care system has been in the USA. Sure I may pay higher taxes, a little, but I never have to worry about bring one medical emergency away from bankruptcy.

  31. 31
    dano

    Ariaflame, I do understand that you have enjoyed free or cheap health care in other countries but are you really willing to have your Physician subject increasingly and various government “comparative effectiveness” practice guidelines that will specify what sorts of procedures and tests they should (or should not) perform, and what sorts of medications they can (or cannot) prescribe. These measures will be portrayed by government officials as ways of improving quality while reducing costs. But over time, they will also be used as a way to covertly ration medical services.

  32. 32
    desoto

    . . . the hate we are supposed to use on Monday at work to bully the weak, GLBT and non-believers.

    You don’t have to. You use god as a proxy for all your hate. Then you just smugly recite the appropriate verses.

  33. 33
    dano

    Desoto, you seem to know me well. What color am I thinking about? …………..You don’t know do you. Why must all Atheists think or rather believe that all Christians are just 10yr olds and we hate everyone (your words not mine). Common really is that your best answer.

  34. 34
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    Catnip you said, “who want to force their particular Christian agenda on the rest of the world.” yet isn’t that what left winger nutter, I assume if you can say right wing nutters so can I about the left, Obama is doing with Obamacare? Hmmm kind of hurts now doesn’t it when the shoe is on the other foot. Cheers!

    Ouch! Such sting in your words!

    Actually, no it doesn’t hurt at all. Firstly, Obama is a poor example of a left wing nutter. You could have done much better than that.

    Secondly, as Ariaflame said, I live in a country that has got the balance between individual freedom & community pooling of resources reasonably good (mostly anyway). Certainly much better than the USA, where if you are not part of the in crowd, then you are in trouble. Where you have “working Poor”.

    If that’s what being a “left winig Nutter” is, then I embrace it. I wonder what you would call the people further to the left of me? Oh yes, you’re a Christian, so they must just be the scum to be persecuted.

    Try a real argument now, instead of these straw men.

    Universal healthcare=/= discrimination against people less fortunate than yourself.

  35. 35
    Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD

    As someone who has experienced this healthcare I don’t remember that happening to me. And right now who is restricting access? The money grubbing health insurers. How exactly can Obamacare make anything worse?

  36. 36
    dano

    ObamaCare is based on drastically increasing the degree of government control over medical practice and medical financing decisions that should instead be made by patients, doctors, and insurers in a free market. By depriving individuals of this freedom, the plan destroys any possible redeeming qualities. Just as an example — suppose it were scientifically proven that eating carrots was good for you. Then, the government decided to require that everyone eat 3 carrots a day.

    Such a law would restrict man’s freedom to act on his own rational judgment — which is our basic means of survival. A government which tramples on our basic freedoms in order to achieve a derivative value (such as “guaranteed” health care) destroys the source of all such values — namely, the rational mind capable of acting on its own independent judgment. To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, “They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary health security, deserve neither liberty or security.” And under ObamaCare, we’ll end up with neither.

  37. 37
    desoto

    @33

    What color am I thinking about?

    We are talking Christians, so, you in the collective sense.

  38. 38
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    Why must all Atheists think or rather believe that all Christians are just 10yr olds and we hate everyone

    I think it has something to do with the quality of the arguments that Christians usually put forward, and their inability to understand concepts more advanced than the average 10 year old can grasp.

    Example;

    Desoto, you seem to know me well. What color am I thinking about? …………..You don’t know do you

  39. 39
    Rey Fox

    I have read many blogs & posts on both sides of the argument & I have never seen as much hate, anger, foul language (if you consider it bad that is), and disgust for the other side as with or in Atheist blogs.

    Where did you see any of that in Clare’s post?

    and consider that everyone should be equal no matter what their race, sex, sexuality or beliefs are as long as they do not prevent others from living their life as they see fit.

    Yet you still want their unions to be second-class and inferior to heterosexual marriage. It’s cognitive dissonance, and it serves bigotry. That’s just the tip of the iceberg as to why we’re angry at religion.

    If you doubt me please watch yesterday’s & today’s sermon and tell me what is so bad about believing in a higher power when he is teaching us ways we can better our lives.

    Did that for 18 years, found better ways to better my life through secular reasoning and ethics.

    Doubters find it hard that a church could actually be providing some good information instead of the old sermons to burn & kill all non-christians, homosexuals and devil worshipers.

    Just a tip: If you want people to like you, maybe try not to be so condescending.

    If I was German (which I am not although my wife is) would I therefore hate myself or my wife if I was an Atheist?

    Here’s where the German/Christian comparison/gotcha breaks down. German people, the ones who aren’t Nazis at least, don’t consider their nationality to make them morally superior beings. Christians (and people of other religions) do. They occupy a privileged space in society, their religious leaders are assumed to be more wise and/or morally superior by virtue of their religion, and their morals and ideas are protected from criticism by virtue of being religious and therefore exempt to criticism in polite society. What us atheists would really like is for religious morals and politics and other facts of their worldview (the notion that some supernatural being created everybody in order to police their sexual activities, for one) to be subject to the same sort of criticism that every other idea is subject to.

    I also noticed no one so far has watched the video

    Like I said, did that for 18 years, do not care to waste any more Sundays on that kind of thing. Feel free to give us the Cliff’s Notes version. If it’s something about loving one’s neighbor or treating others the way you’d like to be treated, then just know that your religion does not in any way have the exclusive pipeline to that sort of advice. And that it’s a bit sad that you need to dress it up with a supernatural father figure in order to believe it, or worse yet, if you need the fear of eternal punishment to be nice to people.

    And just a little poli-sci lesson, Obama is not a left-wing nutter. He’s centrist at best. The Affordable Healthcare Act is a very watered-down left-wing sort of idea. It is also providing much-needed care to millions of people who would not otherwise be able to afford it. Kind of figured Christians would be into that.

  40. 40
    dano

    Point two on why ObamaCare makes our healthcare system worse.

    During the 2009 health care debate, some conservatives like Sarah Palin (I know you love to hear her name) claimed that government “death panels” would decide which patients would live or die under ObamaCare. Although many ObamaCare supporters called such concerns “paranoia”, after the law was passed they sang a different tune. For instance, David Leonhardt praised the fact that under ObamaCare the government would finally be able to control health care costs by saying “no” to patients (“The Power Of No”, New York Times, 6 April 2010).

    Similarly, President Obama’s nominee to head Medicare, Dr. Donald Berwick, has repeatedly praised Great Britain’s National Health Service as a model for the US to emulate because it rations care in a way he finds socially desirable.

    Whether you wish to call them “death panels” or not, it is true that that newly-created bureaucracies such as the Independent Payment Advisory Panel will be empowered to decide if certain procedures and treatments cost “too much” — and therefore not covered under government programs such as Medicare. If you’re a Medicare patient dependent on the federal government for your health care, then this could amount to the government deciding whether you’ll live or die.

  41. 41
    Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD

    Wow, what strawman arguments. You really don’t have a fucking clue what Obamacare actually is do you? It is the old slippery slope arguments done to death. Health is too fucking important to be completely put at the mercy of a profit driven free market.

  42. 42
    Rey Fox

    ObamaCare is based on drastically increasing the degree of government control over medical practice and medical financing decisions that should instead be made by patients, doctors, and insurers in a free market.

    So you consider corporate profits to be more important that peoples’ health. Gotcha.

    Just as an example — suppose it were scientifically proven that eating carrots was good for you.

    I’ve noticed that Free Market worshippers never seem to be able to cite actual facts on the ground, they always go for these weird thought experiments that would never happen. What if this and what if that.

  43. 43
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    If you’re a Medicare patient dependent on the federal government for your health care, then this could amount to the government deciding whether you’ll live or die.

    Assuming the above statement has any truth in it (soomething I’m neither inclined to check, nor able to easily), the corollory to that is that without Obamacare, the same patients have the decision not to have the treatment made for them long before it becomes an issue, as they cannot afford the healthcare treatment that the well-to-do can. Therefore, they die.

  44. 44
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Ariaflame, I do understand that you have enjoyed free or cheap health care in other countries but are you really willing to have your Physician subject increasingly and various government “comparative effectiveness” practice guidelines that will specify what sorts of procedures and tests they should (or should not) perform, and what sorts of medications they can (or cannot) prescribe. These measures will be portrayed by government officials as ways of improving quality while reducing costs. But over time, they will also be used as a way to covertly ration medical services.

    I’m not Ariaflame, but whatever makes you imagine that the insurance companies are not doing this already? Only harder, more cruelly, more expensively, and with measurably worse health outcomes than in the countries where the government decides on best practice based on advice from medical experts.

    And hey, it’s not the atheists who are demanding that the government step in between women and their reproductive health care providers. That’s the Republican party.

  45. 45
    Ingdigo Jump

    But over time, they will also be used as a way to covertly ration medical services.

    The gnomes in my head told me so

  46. 46
    dano

    Rey, Rey, Rey when did I say that? You are inferring something that is simply not true. In a nutshell I am not willing to allow the government to dictate what procedures I can and can not have. I also see no reason to put the government in control of something this important when they can’t even handle social security. Let them subsidize something more like I don;t know say windmills…oh yah, they already do because they can’t sustain themselves and turn a profit so lets throw more money at them. Hmm lets throw some money at a solar panel company, oh yah opps that was a bad $500 million deal called Solyndra. Give me a break. Privatization of healthcare is what is needed in order to allow the system to work as it is supposed to work.

  47. 47
    dano

    Ing, that’s the best one liner yet. If I could give you a gold star I would.

  48. 48
    Ingdigo Jump

    Why must all Atheists think or rather believe that all Christians are just 10yr olds and we hate everyone (your words not mine).

    Dano I literally stumbled back upon you after leaving another blog. Let me share something you wrote.

    I have no doubt that we really don’t need a Christian Tolerence Day but so far none have proved why my childern must be subjected to a GLBT Tolerance Day. Will there be a Tolerence Day now for Atheists or Wickens or Jews? Remember the Jews were killed by the millions during Hitler’s reign of power so we definitely need a Tolerence day for them. How about for short people or those under 6′ tall, and over weight people. Wow we should almost pick a group of people every week. Come on let’s get real. Should GLBT be picked on the answer is no just like the the kid who is short, over weight and wears glasses should not be bullied either. Where do we draw the line?

    michaelbrew no offense but if we have a day just for GLBT tolerance can we also have a day called Christain tolerance & if so do you know the date? I will be a while until I can reply back perhaps later this afternoon or evening.

    It’s because you ARE a hateful bigot godbot who has traded empathy and sense for paranoia, stupidity, and a callous disregard for others.

    I sense much fear in you.

  49. 49
    Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD

    dano, I can only assume that you either have top notch insurance or have never been seriously ill. The net is full of horror stories of people in the USA who have suffered and died due to their insurance companies refusing them tests, or treatments, or due to them not being able to afford to go to the doctor to get something checked. Here’s a tip for you, prevention is far far far cheaper than a cure most of the time.

    Why are you happy for insurance companies to decide if you live or die, but not a government? It’s in the government’s interest to have living healthy citizens. It’s in the health insurance companies’ interests to have sick people die and no longer be a drain on them.

    Or is having people die or go bankrupt if they get sick how it is ‘supposed to work’?

    Also you’re not forced to rely on Obamacare if you don’t want to. Nothing is stopping you buying insurance from the private health insurance companies if you want to do that. You choose for you. But don’t you dare choose for other people.

  50. 50
    Rey Fox

    You are inferring something that is simply not true.

    And then you spend the entire rest of your comment implying that profit is the most important thing in any enterprise.

    Privatization of healthcare is what is needed in order to allow the system to work as it is supposed to work.

    So that only those who can afford it can have it, gotcha. Hope you don’t have any health problems. Hope your insurance company doesn’t decide that your health is cutting into their profits. Heck, hope you’re lucky enough to be employed by a company with decent health insurance.

  51. 51
    Ingdigo Jump

    Privatization of healthcare is what is needed in order to allow the system to work as it is supposed to work.

    Begging the question. And frankly given the actual stats it doubles as flat out denialism.

  52. 52
    Ingdigo Jump

    Why are you happy for insurance companies to decide if you live or die, but not a government? It’s in the government’s interest to have living healthy citizens. It’s in the health insurance companies’ interests to have sick people die and no longer be a drain on them.

    Dano is showing all the signs of being a Glen Bot and Randdroid. He’s an over privileged troll who is terrified seemingly to the point of pants wetting that any single privilege would be taken away. He likes the status quo very much thank you and anything that disrupts that is terrifying.

    Note that it doesn’t matter if the status quo is awful, it is HOW IT IS SUPPOSED TO WORK.

  53. 53
    Ingdigo Jump

    Shorter Dano

    I am so fucking arrogant and self privileged that MY fear of future consequences that are based on irrational delusions and John Birch Society propaganda outweighs your right to live. Why are all of you so upset at the idea of dying for my ideals!?

  54. 54
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    Dano originally asked:

    I have never understood why Atheists hate a group of people getting together to talk about love thy neighbor, treat others with respect, believe in a higher being, etc. Is it that you hate others who do don’t follow you?

    I think we have ample demonstration of why atheists are angry at christians, don’t you?

  55. 55
    dano

    Ing & Rey, I think you have been brain washed by the left winger nutter Rachel Maddow. I think you should start thinking for yourself and stop regurgitating what others say. Obamacare will be repealed so I guess my arguing with you is moot. I sure hope you never get sick and the government says that surgery is really not needed. Look we had 3 people that did not die after having the same symtoms and no surgery. Never mid that the other 97 died. Heading to bed. Sweet dreams & Cheers!

  56. 56
    clarem

    @dano, I’d just like to point out that most Atheists, at least myself and those I know, don’t hate people just because they’re Christian. We dislike the religion, not the religious.

    Until, of course, they start attacking us and insisting that we hate them or try to force their doctrine upon us.

  57. 57
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    Or want us to accept that the poorest in society don’t deserve healthcare

  58. 58
    Ingdigo Jump

    I sure hope you never get sick and the government says that surgery is really not needed. Look we had 3 people that did not die after having the same symtoms and no surgery. Never mid that the other 97 died. Heading to bed. Sweet dreams & Cheers!

    Ah yes the people who are seeking a profit are FAR less likely to do that than the people who are tasked with actually curing people.

    What the fuck does that say about you that you literally can’t imagine a world where people wouldn’t needlessly murder others if they wern’t paid not to?

    Dano, I don’t hate you for being a Christian, I hate you because you are clearly a horrible person. If you actually cared about people dying from health care you would care about what the actual facts were. Not be happy to promote a system with ACTUAL death panels (more or less) out of the lame excuse that you’re against death panels. If you gave a shit you would care enough to be well informed. As such your ignorance+ passion cannot be from a well formed yet sincerely compassionate mind, it’s from a twisted little self righteous coward who is trying to use other people’s compassion against them.

  59. 59
    Ingdigo Jump

    Or want us to accept that the poorest in society don’t deserve healthcare

    Well when you believe that an elemental evil demon is in charge of the government (because it is lead by a Muslim Fascist Liberal Black Guy, you can easily conclude that what sounds good is inevitably going to lead to senseless murders because yeah evil.

    Gee why would people not like Christianity!? Maybe because we’re expected to fuck off and die because Dano is scared of his boogyman?

  60. 60
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    And another thing ;-) @ Clarem

    Good story, and thanks for sending it in. It is always pleasing to see the next generation showing that they can shake of the shackles of religion. Just sorry it got so derailed by the troll

  61. 61
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    Well when you believe that an elemental evil demon is in charge of the…

    When I read that line, I actually thought you were about to say something about the christian god & that the next word was going to be “Universe”

  62. 62
    Ingdigo Jump

    @Catnip

    Well they call it Teh Devil, because few of them have read their bibles enough to see that the concept of an evil lower god in conflict with the all powerful god is a relatively new concept clearly shaped by other mythologies and religions that didn’t have the issue of omnipotence that leads them right into a circle jerk problem of evil.

  63. 63
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    Ah yes….The eternal problem of theodicy that Christians face

  64. 64
    Ingdigo Jump

    Also I dont’ watch Maddow. I don’t get TV. I actually look up issues to learn about them. I know it’s shocking to you that someone wouldn’t rely on an authority figure to spoon feed them, but there you go.

  65. 65
    myeck waters

    I have to hand it to dano – their ability to be utterly wrong on every statement of fact they made is positively Santorumesque.

  66. 66
    Ingdigo Jump

    Christianity is dangerous because of people like dano. It lets them feel like good people without ever having to worry about whether they are acting with both a good heart and informed mind.

  67. 67
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    @myeck waters #65
    It’s how they are able to continue to swallow christianity and still function on a daily basis. The ability to hold views in direct contraction of observed facts is a prerequisite

  68. 68
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    … but for good people to do evil—that takes religion.

    Steven Weinberg

  69. 69
    Ze Madmax

    dano @ #40:

    For instance, David Leonhardt praised the fact that under ObamaCare the government would finally be able to control health care costs by saying “no” to patients (“The Power Of No”, New York Times, 6 April 2010).

    Dano’s NY Times story, for anyone who’s interested:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/07/business/economy/07leonhardt.html

    And whaddya know, it has nothing to do with denying care for the sake of cutting costs. Rather, it refers to plans to implement government policies that would try to regulate the prescription of unnecessary treatments and procedures to patients, not just for the sake of reducing overheads, but also because (apparently) the issue of patients being told to undergo unnecessary procedures in the name of a “everything and the kitchen sink” approach to medical testing.

    But I’m sure it’s an honest mistake, and not a deliberate misrepresentation of a news article for the purpose of promoting a paranoid, anti-government agenda*.


    *The paranoid, anti-government agenda, of course, being promoted by whoever told dano the story in the first place, and given that it fits nicely with dano’s worldview, xe probably saw no reason to double check the story to figure out what was it about.

  70. 70
    Cipher

    (sorry I can’t seem to give in on that one)

    Sorry? You’re not nearly fucking sorry enough. If you were half the “nice Christian” you think you are, you’d be ashamed to post that in public. You ought to be off somewhere begging your sky-god to take away the curse of your irrational bigotry. As it stands, you’re just another bigot who lacks the self-awareness to realize what it is xe stands for.

    Officially, I don’t hate Christians. I just hate bigoted assholes and smugly ignorant dipshits. Unfortunately this usually comes to the same thing. Dano’s performance in this thread is not giving me much reason to reconsider.

  71. 71
    Ingdigo Jump

    I think a lot of people like dano would be the way they are regardless just because they’re assholes. Not everyone mind you but some. What Christianity does is convince a bunch of good people that they have to put up with dano’s horseshit and that people like him are entitled to instant forgiveness.

  72. 72
    Ingdigo Jump

    I have never understood why Atheists hate a group of people getting together to talk about love thy neighbor, treat others with respect…

    Wait, I thought we were talking about Christianity…what does Islam have to do with this?

  73. 73
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Current average life expectancy at birth, according to the CIA factbook (Surely that’s not too socialist, eh? We’ll not use the WHO or UN because probably evil.)

    * In places with these government “death panels”

    UK..............80.05
    Canada..........81.38
    Australia.......81.81
    New Zealand.....80.59

    * Compared to some place with insurance company death clerks (not panels!! Panels are teh ebil.)
    USA..............78.37

    The evidence is not on Dano’s side.
    We win.

  74. 74
    raven

    Dano the death cultist lying:

    I have never understood why Atheists hate a group of people getting together to talk about love thy neighbor, treat others with respect…

    Because that has nothing to do with the main strain of xianity in the USA. Dano is simply lying.

    Fundie xians have been threatening to kill me for over a decade now. They have killed 8 of my colleagues. I’m glad the FBI is on my side.

    The 3 main sacraments of fundieism are hate, lies, and hypocrisy. The list of hates is long and ever growing. Gays, women, children college students, other xians, other religions scientists, MDs, in short most of the world’s population.

    Xian Dominionists like Rick Santorum openly hate the USA and will destroy it if they can to set up a hell on earth theocracy. Santorum even wants to regulate people’s sex lives. This is not something that happens in a modern democracy.

  75. 75
    Don Quijote

    dano @55:
    “left winger nutter Rachel Maddow:”

    = woman, lesbian and exposer of lies and bullshit.

  76. 76
    Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD

    @Alethea and those countries manage to do so with less costs per capita than the USA if I remember correctly.

  77. 77
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Yes, considerably less.

  78. 78
    dano

    It seems based on the last couple of posts most have gone down the road of rage, name calling and bigotry. It is said how quickly some Atheists go from a civil discussion to anger when someone brings up points that are inarguably not in their favor and are damaging to their side. Yes, I did grab 2 ponts from that story to prove my point. I will remember in the future to include the link as I know all atheists will do the same. Neverless I have enjoyed the discussion but will be moving on to new posts. Thank you for all of your posts. May God shed light on all of you today. Cheers!

    P.S. Glad to see some many of you watched the video as I know I have watched many of yours so I may bring my view points across in a more informed manor.

  79. 79
    myeck waters

    It seems based on the last couple of posts most have gone down the road of rage, name calling and bigotry.

    You started the mud flinging, dano, with your very first post.

    This is you reaping what you sowed.

    Your posts here have served as a fine demonstration of the nastiness that lurks behind so many smiling “christian” faces.

  80. 80
    dano

    Myeck Waters, Did you watch the video?????? Point proved.

  81. 81
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    And whaddya know, it has nothing to do with denying care for the sake of cutting costs.

    Of course it doesn’t. This is a discussion that has been going on for a very long time. Medicine is not a consumption article. The choice between surgery and chemotherapy is not the same as choosing between a red car and a green one. This is a choice a patient can not normally make, because the patient lacks the knowledge oncologists have acquired during years of gruelling and ongoing studies.

    It is also an ethical issue. If there is one time-slot available to do an MRI, who should get it? The patient who screams the loudest, or the patient who needs it the most? It seems to me that the choice is easy enough, but many conservatives simply don’t seem to get the simple morality behind issues like this.

  82. 82
    myeck waters

    Why would I want to, when the person suggesting I watch it had already shown themselves to be spiteful and dishonest? I generally don’t follow the suggestions of people I’ve learned to not trust.

  83. 83
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    myeck waters:

    It isn’t worth the time. It’s just some idiot claiming that black is not green because blue is yellow, i.e. all the usual stuff to “interpret” ancient storytelling to seemingly make it mean something it doesn’t.

  84. 84
    raven

    Dano the death cultist lying some more:

    It seems based on the last couple of posts most have gone down the road of rage, name calling and bigotry.

    For someone who complains about insults, you’ve ben lying and slinging them since the beginning. “rage”, “name callling”, “bigotry”.

    Oh well, Dano has his hypocrisy and lie sacraments done for the day.

    There is no reasoning with wacko fanatics like Dano. All you can do is watch them closely and if they break the laws, arrest, try, convict, and send them to prison. The police and the US armed forces exist to protect people like us from people like Dano.

  85. 85
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    There is no reasoning with wacko fanatics like Dano. All you can do is watch them closely and if they break the laws, arrest, try, convict, and send them to prison. The police and the US armed forces exist to protect people like us from people like Dano.

    Except, of course, that people like Dano are often given a lot of leeway, thanks to misinterpretations of the principle of freedom of religion and general reluctance to hold Xtians to the same standards as other people.

  86. 86
    Ingdigo Jump

    There is no reasoning with wacko fanatics like Dano.

    Which is why I’m firm on a) diversity of approaches b) the necessity for non-rational emotional based arguments to PROMOTE rationality. I think for many people you have to first get them to care about rationality first. IMO this means a carrot and stick and going firmly and viciously at the underlying defense mechanisms.

  87. 87
    Ingdigo Jump

    It seems based on the last couple of posts most have gone down the road of rage, name calling and bigotry.

    It’s amazing that you don’t see that you threw the first punch.

  88. 88
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    It’s amazing that you don’t see that you threw the first punch.

    I don’t think dano realizes that passive-aggresive bullshit is a first punch.

  89. 89
    Ingdigo Jump

    Oh he knows he’s being aggressive but takes offense because he somehow expects that we’re too dumb to.

  90. 90
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Oh he knows he’s being aggressive but takes offense because he somehow expects that we’re too dumb to.

    Of course we’re dumb. After all, if we were smart like dano, we’d believe exactly the same thing he believes. Since we don’t share his beliefs, we are, by his working definition, dumb.

  91. 91
    Rey Fox

    Point proved.

    You play a cheap game when you come onto another blog and slander everyone and then shout “gotcha” when they get mad. Anger does not delegitimize a position. Anger is a natural emotion, and a proper reaction in many circumstances. You should be suspicious of anyone who teaches you to fear your own anger, you might want to consider what they are hiding, what they don’t want you to get angry about. Anger is a catalyst for change. No progress has ever been made in the world without anger. So I, for one, don’t give one rat turd about your crowing of victory for making people angry.

    Yes, I did grab 2 ponts from that story to prove my point.

    And you turned out to be wrong about them. I’m not surprised that you’re not admitting this though.

  92. 92
    Rey Fox

    I think you should start thinking for yourself and stop regurgitating what others say.

    I’m not the one who’s referring to the Affordable Healthcare Act by the right-wing talking-point term “Obamacare”.

  93. 93
    Catnip, Misogynist Troglodyte called Bruce

    Neverless I have enjoyed the discussion but will be moving on to new posts.

    Translation:

    I’m not going to listen to anything else you’ve got to say, because ignoring your points is the best way for me to keep my head in the sand. Also, if I announce to you that I am leaving, then I get the last word as nothing more you say counts, and because I get the last word, then I win.

    I also win because I say I win.

    And another thing, If you didn’t watch my irrelevent video, then I win. If you display any anger at my bigotry, then I win. If I say ‘may god shed light on you’, then I win.

    Oh and, er, I win.

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